Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Party Rules vs. Convention Rules

The Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee is holding a public meeting on Saturday, May 31st in order to address the issue of whether or not to seat at their August convention the delegations from Michigan and Florida. Those two states violated Democratic party rules by holding their Democratic presidential primaries before February 5, 2008 -- and are currently allowed no delegates to the convention, according to those 2007 rules.

Readers of this blog may remember my February 2008 reference to Boston City Councilor-At-Large Sam Yoon being named to the DNC's convention Rules and Bylaws Committee.

Councilor Yoon will not, however, be part of this Saturday's meeting -- he's on the DNC's convention's Rules and Bylaws Committee (which won't meet until just before the convention itself), not on the DNC's standing Rules and Bylaws Committee (which meets this Saturday). (The MSM often confuse the two committees in their terminology.) Only time will tell if the convention's committee, on which Councilor Yoon sits, will have to rule on any procedures related to the Florida and/or Michigan delegates left unresolved by the standing committee.

TalkLeft goes through the delegate math for a couple of proposals that will be considered by the DNC's Rules Committee at its May 31 meeting. The meeting will be held at a hotel in the Washington area -- but the Lyndon LaRouche-ies appear unable to use google to figure out the address, so they think it is a secretive conspiracy. (Maybe they were actually thinking about the informal dinner for committee members on Friday night.)

Of the 30 members of the committee, 13 openly support Senator Hillary Clinton's bid for the nomination, eight openly support Senator Barack Obama, and the remainder (including both co-chairs) are neutral -- although four apparently lean towards Senator Obama. One of Senator Obama's supporters is from Florida and will not be allowed to vote on that state's challenge; one undeclared committee member is from Michigan and will likewise not be allowed to vote on that state's challenge.

Massachusetts members of the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee are: co-chair James Roosevelt, Jr. of Waltham, the President and CEO of Tufts Health Plan; and Dr. Elaine Kamarck, of Harvard's Kennedy School (of Government). Dr. Kamarck correctly predicted in February that the committee would again have to take up the issue of Florida and Michigan before the convention. Roosevelt, who once ran for the 8th Congressional District seat (losing to Joe Kennedy), is profiled in the Chicago Tribune.

Image of head scratching by PhotoJonny provided through a Creative Commons license.

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